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Jonas, Not Jones

“Am I boring you, Mr. Jones?”

Professor Magnus folds his arms across his chest and awaits a response. The twenty or so students of English 301 stare in the direction of the professor’s glare.

“No sir.”

Justin struggles to regain connection with his current surroundings only to find forty two eyes fixed on him.

“I asked you to share your thesis statement.”

Justin tries desperately to invent an acceptable statement on the spur of the moment. He had failed to complete the assignment.

“Have you forgotten your thesis?”

Justin decides to confess his failure to complete the assignment.

Professor Magnus takes this opportunity to declare how simple the assignment was and yet how vital it is to the final grade and how it could affect a GPA and earning a degree from this college.

“What do you have to say to that, Mr. Jones?”

Justin glances around the room at his fellow students. He doesn’t really focus on physical details as much as he recognizes his interconnection with them.

“Ms. Benoit, would you care to share your thesis and why you have chosen it?”

“Wait, Professor Magnus, I believe I have a thesis for you.”

The professor gives Justin permission with a silent, slightly sarcastic bow.

“You planted the idea when you explained to us the importance of this simple assignment.”

Justin sits up straight in his chair and looks directly into the instructor’s face.

“You see, Bob…”

Justin cocks his head to one side but his eyes remain focused on the teacher’s eyes.

“You did say we could call you, Bob?”

Magnus confirms with a nod and then pans the room.

“You are not the only instructor I have who gave me an assignment. Everyone of them assigned something and everyone were simple, yet important.”

Justin scans the room as before. He is emboldened by the expressions of interest on their faces.

“Because I am not an exceptional athlete, I am here on an academic scholarship, but it is not enough to pay my tuition for four years, so I supplement it with loans.”

“Are you eventually going to share your thesis?”

“I’m supplying the ‘why you have chosen it’ part first, sir.”

With that, Magnus sits on the front of the desk provided for the full professor who also uses this classroom.

“My parents and stepdad make too much money for me to be eligible for financial aid, but too little to help with tuition or to help much with student loans, so I work.”

Justin notices a majority of the students in this evening’s class are nodding affirmation to his scenario.

“All of the campus jobs were already taken by Seniors, so I work off campus.”

Justin notices his open folder only has the date scrawled onto an otherwise blank page. He has no notes from tonight’s sharing of thesis and reasoning for it.

“I work part day work and part nights to work around my class schedule and yet sometimes I am unable to take the class I want or with the professor I want.”

Justin closes his notebook. He places it and his pencil in his backpack.

“Actually, I was unable to attend my first college choice, because tuition was higher there and I didn’t believe at the time I could afford it.”

“Are you now going to bless us with your thesis?”

“Some colleges in America like this college do not provide adequate education worthy of the financial and personal sacrifices of most of its student body and their families.”

Justin stands and throws his backpack over one shoulder.

“Are you leaving, Mr. Jones?”

Justin shuffles down the aisle towards Magnus. Then, standing in front of Magnus addresses him. Magnus rises to his feet.

“For the record, Professor Magnus,” Justin shifts his backpack to the opposite shoulder, “my last name is Jonas.”

Justin Jonas departs the classroom and returns to work.

Categories: Education Sample writing

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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